Best Bets: February School Vacation Fun on Cape Cod
February School Vacation Week is almost here, and Cape Cod is in full swing, whether you’re looking for ways to keep cooped-up kids busy or playing hooky right along with them.
Here are some of our favorite ideas for family fun!
Live and learn
The museums you know and love kick into high gear for School Vacation Week, which makes it a perfect time to rediscover an old favorite or find something new at your tried-and-true. Even better, venture somewhere you’ve never been and always meant to visit. At Cape Cod Children’s Museum in Mashpee, can run wild in a mini-village with a post office and diner, explore a tree house, storm a castle, or get busy with any number of things that zip, spin, bounce, and whirl. School vacation week events at the museum include sing-a-longs, arts & crafts and creative movement.
Family time doesn't get much sweeter than a jam session in the historic kitchen of the Green Briar Nature Center in Sandwich during Green Briar’s February Vacation Family JAMboree. On the menu: raspberry jam-making from 11 am to 1 pm on Thursday, February 21, and strawberry jam from 11 am to 1 pm Friday, February 22. Space is limited, so call 508-888-6870 for reservations. The best part? Taking home the finished product.
In Brewster, break week at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History kicks off on Sunday, February 16th with Mad Science Fire and Ice experience - where kids will be dazzled by everything from a foggy dry ice storm and giant beach balls floating in air to a special Mad Science “burp” potion. Afterward, take in the scenic winter beauty along the museum's gorgeous outdoor trails - always worthy of a gold medal.
If you’ve never been to the Whydah Pirate Museum in Yarmouth, adults and kids are equally intrigued by the collection of real-life pirate treasures and stories uncovered from the famous shipwreck. And the perennial cure for cabin fever: reaching into the touch tank at the Woods Hole Aquarium, where a resident starfish, lobster, or crab will amaze, no matter how many times you’ve seen one before.
Ready, Set, Action
It’s literally too cool for school—hit the ice at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center for public skating, family stick practice, and yes, “Stroller Skating,” if your little one’s on wheels. At Tony Kent Arena in Dennis, you can take to the skates with your kids or stay warm over a slice or calzone from the full-menu snack bar.
Once you take off your skates, it’s time for bowling shoes. You’ll see why it’s called Ryan Family Amusements (Cape locations include Buzzards Bay, Falmouth, Hyannis and South Yarmouth) when you spot as many adults as kids high-fiving on the lanes or in the arcade. At The Lanes Bowl & Bistro in Mashpee Commons, the famously good bistro may beckon if you’re rolling gutter balls, but any good Pats fan knows you should never give up on a super-bowling comeback. Bowling is just one option at the new Ten Pin Eatery in Hyannis; the fun also includes a state-of-the-art arcade, espcae rooms, virtual reality and laser tag. When nothing can cure your winter blues, the next-best thing to summer is the indoor Water Park at Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis, a 30,000-square-foot adventureland of slides, fountains, wave pools, ships, and fun that will tide you over until June.
No matter how cozy the den or how slick the device, nothing beats the real thing—Entertainment Cinemas in Dennis can always be counted on for a crowd-pleasing selection, huge screens, every kind of concession, and bargain matinees. Back by popular demand: The Falmouth Cinema Pub is the best of all worlds; settle into a swivel chair, order up something tasty, and dig into the latest feature (added bonus: parents will likely appreciate the cocktail menu).
Or, step right into the action at Riddle Cape Cod in Mashpee Commons. Think big-picture to solve a series of clues and puzzles that will help your family "escape" from one of several themed rooms, including "The Magical Land of Swirly Twirly Gumdrops" and "Mission: Homeland."
Whether you’re traveling from over the bridge or want a getaway sans airport, many of the Cape’s favorite resorts offer fun School Vacation Week packages. At the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis, yours comes with unlimited waterpark access, or you can stay close by at the Hyannis Holiday Inn, where family activities from scavenger hunts to ice cream socials add a fun touch to your accommodations. Face painting, crafts, Xbox competitions, family movie nights and pizza parties are on the agenda for the February Vacation Week fun at Hampton Inn & Suites Cape Cod in West Yarmouth. Also in West Yarmouth, the Bayside Resort offers a School Break package that includes everything from breakfasts with special character guests to cookie-decorating and magic shows, plus Happy Hour in the Moby Dick pub for mom and dad.
And Magic School is in session at Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster, where little witches and wizards can stay busy during the resort's Wizarding Week with fun and games like wand and cloak-making, horcrux scavenger hunts, quidditch matches, potions classes, while parents kick back and enjoy the spectacular view.